The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) is on the verge of forfeiting in excess of R420-million back to National Treasury, because they have been unable to spend the money, despite empty political promises to do so.
What makes this dismal state of affairs even worse, is that the funds being forfeited is money that is desperately needed for projects that would have improved the lives of Nelson Mandela Bay residents.
I have today written to Premier Mabuyane to request his urgent intervention in Nelson Mandela Bay and have requested that his office dispatch the unit he said he would establish to monitor and assist municipalities with their expenditure, to urgently assist the NMBM.
The NMBM, as at 21st of June 2019, had a dismal capital expenditure rate of 52%, which means more than R1-billion rand still needs to be spent.
The Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) expenditure of 63% means that R330 million has not been spent, while Integrated Public Transport System Grant (IPTS) expenditure of 48% means that R90 million has not been spent.
The end of the financial year is on Sunday and it is impossible that the municipality will be able to spend the outstanding amounts by then.
This is in sharp contrast to the two years under a DA-led government, where hundreds of millions of Rands in additional funding was secured, because it had spent 100% of its grant funding. National Treasury awarded the municipality an additional R173-million grant funding based on the 2016/17 financial year and a further R200 million based on the 2017/18 financial year.
The situation is made worse by National Treasury’s warning that they are highly unlikely to approve any rollover applications for unspent conditional grants should Council fail to appoint a permanent Chief Financial Officer before the end of the financial year.
The DA-led government was in the process of completing the appointment of a CFO when removed from office, but the coalition of corruption opted to start the process over again. Ten months later, and with less than five days until the end of the financial year, they have failed to conclude the process of appointing a permanent CFO.
This is a clear indictment on the failing coalition, which clearly has no idea how to deliver effective services to the residents of the municipality, and who will most likely turn to ratepayers to make up for the funds lost through this incompetence.
The DA has a proven track record. Where the DA governs, we govern well. We are committed to speeding up basic services, fighting corruption and creating an environment that grows the economy. This is done through good corporate governance and sound financial planning.
Leander Kruger Cllr
DA NMB Spokesperson Budget and Treasury